Q. How can change best be obtained in institutions of higher education, given the massive organizational structure?


To best answer this question, you need to plan how you are going to find the information.  Please use the following steps to plan your search strategy.  You will also need to track your searches so that you do not find yourself going in circles.

You have already accomplished the first step by putting your topic into the form of a question or sentence.

Next you need to list key words and/or phrases taken from your question and list them across the top of a piece of paper or in a Word or Excel document.

After you accomplish this task, then try to come up with one or two words or phrases to describe each key word or phrase listed.

Next you need to go to the online library and choose the "Find Articles" button.  You may also select the "Education" button at the bottom of the page since your topic is in the education field.  

Once you are at the database list, your next task will be to read through the database descriptions and decide which databases are most suited to giving you the best results.

Now you are ready to start searching.  Start by selecting one of the databases you chose to search.  Open it up and go to the advanced search screen.  

Next, go to the help section, usually located in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and look for tips on searching.  In particular, look at the section on truncation devices, wild cards, and phrase searching.  They will be invaluable to your searches.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the database, begin by combining two of your search terms or phrases.  Then select the field in which you wish to search.  You may also limited by date, type of resource, etc.  These limitations are usually found below your search inquiry area.

Start with the most general terms associated with your topic and then narrow.  You will get better search result using this method.

If the search you perform yields zero results, look at the suggested topics if there are any and see if one or more of them will work.  You may also try a different search using the similar words/phrases you listed.

Remember to track your searches.  I like tracking using an Excel spreadsheet because it is searchable.

If after trying this method, you do not find the information you need, please contact me, and I will be happy to provide further assistance.

  • Last Updated Jul 26, 2017
  • Views 60
  • Answered By [Unclaimed]

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